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SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

October 21, 2005

Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

 Stevens Vehemently Opposed Amendment
to Eliminate Alaska Bridges
Gravina Island, the location of the Ketchikan International
Airport & the proposed bridge's destination.
Front Page Photo by Chris Wilhelm

Ketchikan: Stevens Vehemently Opposed Amendment to Eliminate Alaska Bridges; "Absolutely Not!! Alaska Is To Be Treated As Any Other State!" said Stevens - Senator Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) amendment if it had passed Thursday would have reduced the federal highway funds that will go to Alaska for the Knik Arm Bridge in Anchorage, and the Gravina Island Bridge in Ketchikan. 

Voting 82-15, senators refused to shift $75 million from two bridge projects in Alaska to the rebuilding of the hurricane-destroyed Interstate 10 twin span near New Orleans. In part, the amendment would have derailed spending of at least $223 million to connect Ketchikan with an airport on Gravina Island. Also a target was a $230 million down payment on the planned Don Young Way near Anchorage, named after the congressman from Alaska who secured its funding in the House.

The Senate also turned down a Stevens' counterproposal to hold up spending for all bridges around the country until the Louisiana bridge is funded, by a vote of 61-33. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Two Ketchikan Men Arrested...

Two Ketchikan Men Arrested; Drugs,
Cash and Guns Confiscated
513.9 grams of marijuana, over $13,000
in U.S. currency, 17 handguns and 22 long guns were confiscated in Ketchikan by Officers.
Photograph by John Maki

Ketchikan: Two Ketchikan Men Arrested; Drugs, Cash and Guns Confiscated By DICK KAUFFMAN - A continuing investigation by the Ketchikan Police Department and the Alaska State Troopers resulted in the arrest of two Ketchikan men and the confiscation of 513.9 grams of marijuana, over $13,000 in U.S. currency, 17 handguns and 22 long guns, according to John Maki, Deputy Chief of the Ketchikan Police Department. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Alaska: Energy Assistance, Rural Justice Top Governor's AFN Speech - Rural energy initiatives, including full funding for Power Cost Equalization, will top Governor Frank H. Murkowski's rural legislative agenda next session along with substance abuse and law enforcement measures and state assistance to communities, the governor said during his speech to the Alaska Federation of Natives.

The governor pledged to ask for a supplemental appropriation to fully fund PCE in this fiscal year in addition to including full funding in the next budget cycle. The governor will also seek $6.5 million for Small Municipality Energy Assistance and $9 million to supplement the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance program. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

National: Congress eyes student loan programs to pay for Katrina By MARY DEIBEL - On top of high gasoline prices and heating bills, you may be able to blame Hurricane Katrina for making parents and students shoulder an even larger share of college costs.

Legislation working its way through Congress would offset Katrina recovery and Gulf Coast reconstruction with $50 billion in spending reductions, including higher-education cuts of anywhere from $7 billion to $12 billion, largely from student loan programs.

"Many of America's students and families find themselves struggling with college debt and affordability, yet the budget process asks that students already in a financial hole dig deeper," said Jasmine Harris of the United States Student Association. The group organized this week's "stop-the-raid-on-student-aid" protests on Capitol Hill and campuses around the country.- More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

A Fern Grows In the Arctic Ocean

A fern grows in the Arctic Ocean
Two icebreakers and a drilling ship
near the North Pole in late summer 2004.
Photo by Martin Jakobsson, Stockholm University.

Alaska: A fern grows in the Arctic Ocean By Ned Rozell - An older version of Alaska's license plates describes the state as "The Last Frontier," but that title might better fit the mysterious peaks and valleys in the dark world beneath the sea.

From the depths of a long ridge spanning the floor of the Arctic Ocean, researchers have pulled up evidence of a plant that now grows in rice fields in Vietnam. This suggests that the top of the world was once a very warm place.

"About 49 million years ago, azolla grew all over the Arctic Basin," said Kate Moran, an oceanographer and engineer who visited Fairbanks recently. "It describes the Arctic Ocean at a time when it was warm and fresher than today." - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

National: Armored Humvees sitting in parking lots, Army concedes By TARA COPP - Hundreds of new, top-of-the-line armored Humvees are parked in Texas and Kuwait and won't be shipped to troops in Iraq even though those soldiers face daily roadside bombs, the Army acknowledged Thursday.

The Army said it's keeping the vehicles out of Iraq until the 3rd Infantry Division's replacements, the 4th Infantry Division, arrive at the end of the year.

But with reports that more than one in four U.S. soldiers' deaths in Iraq have been caused by roadside bombs, members of Congress are incensed that 824 new Humvees wouldn't go straight to Iraq. The newer so-called "uparmored" Humvees have better technology to absorb roadside blasts. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Science: Now I lay me down to ... fungi By ANNE McILROY - It's not just your bed, it's an ecosystem, and a swampy one at that. New research has found that your pillow is home to millions of fungal spores from the bathroom, kitchen and other places where you might not want to rest your head.

It's well known that few people actually sleep alone: Most beds are home to thousands of microscopic dust mites, which produce so much excrement they can add a pound or two of weight to your mattress every year, by some estimates. Humans feed the mites by shedding dead skin, and add water from about 100 liters of sweat a year, says Ashley Woodcock, a researcher at the University of Manchester in England. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Alaska: Governor Asked To Help Alaskans Through Winter - Representative Bill Thomas (R-Haines) has sent a letter to Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski requesting that the Governor's office develop an energy assistance plan to put before the legislature in the upcoming session.

Representative Thomas, a member of the Alaska State Legislature, is asking that a fuel assistance program be established for school districts and communities throughout the state. He is also requesting a supplemental appropriation of $40 million for the Power Cost Equalization Fund, a $40 million appropriation to the Four Dam Pool Power Agency and an $80 million appropriation to the Railbelt Energy Fund. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005



letter Peddling fear with mold & fugus issue By Glen Thompson - Friday
letter Good Job Officers! By Glenn Bell - Friday
letter Bridge to Gravina By Bob Allen - Friday
letter Time to retire? By Don Hoff Jr. - Friday
letter No Democracy, Just Dictators By Don Hoff Jr. - Friday
letter Coburn's Amendment and Ketchikan's "Bridge -to-Somewhere" By Jacquie Meck - Thursday
letter Myths about Social Security By Brad Spencer - Thursday
letter More Viewpoints/ Letters
letter Publish A Letter

Political Cartoonists

The What If Channel
Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
Distributed exclusively to subscribers by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.

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October 2005
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Columns - Commentary

Clifford May: Mission possible: Kill terrorists, support democracy - After last week's constitutional vote, what's America's primary mission in Iraq? The same as it's been all along: to hunt down terrorists and insurgents, including both al-Qaeda forces and the Saddam Hussein loyalists who learned the wrong lesson when they were spared by American troops in 2003.

The chattering classes say that mission is not going well. Most Americans in uniform disagree. "I go up on the Hill and everybody's wringing their hands and everybody's worried," said Gen. John Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command. "But when I talk to my commanders in the field, when I talk to Iraqi commanders in the field, people are confident. ... And I'd say we need to have confidence in the people that are fighting." - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Bob Ciminel: Drivers Ed - I've only been driving about 45 years, so I don't consider myself an expert; experienced, yes, but an expert, no. I've driven the Los Angeles freeways at rush hour, Highway One in the fog, the Mohave Desert in the heat, and the West Virginia turnpike when it was only a three-lane road. I've passed snowplows in winter storms, done Three-Sixties on ice-covered two-lane roads in Pennsylvania, dealt with black ice in the high desert of Idaho, and dodged oak trees driving under the influence on the back roads of coastal South Carolina. But I've never driven "from Tucson to Tucumcari, or Tehachapi to Tonopah." So I'm not an expert. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Ann McFeatters: What women want - Suddenly, it seems, politics is all about what women want.

Do they want Hillary Clinton to run for president? Do they want Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court? Do they want jobs and husbands and babies and power? Do they want to go back to the '50s? Do they want more risk? Less change?

Many pollsters suggest that women, more than men, are in a kind of collective bad mood right now, made worse by Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, spiraling health care costs and frightening gasoline and home heating bills. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Betsy Hart: Parents who outsource childcare responsibilities - More and more we're hearing about parents who outsource when it comes to junior. From potty training to teaching their child to ride a bike, moms and dads are ever more frequently turning to the pros, according to a raft of recent news stories.

Now the hottest growing trend may be inviting the experts into your home to do your "baby-proofing" for you. I actually remember hearing that such experts existed when my oldest of four kids, now 11, was a baby. At the time, the notion was taken as sort of urban folklore, up there with the guy who got a fried rat - instead of fried chicken - in his take-out food. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

Dale McFeatters: Duty versus devotion - Two senior Department of Homeland Security officials have been stripped of their security clearances and transferred to lesser duties. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it's not enough. He wants them fired.

Their offense: One e-mailed his son and the other an old friend tipping them off to a possible plot to bomb to bomb New York's subways. The recipients, in turn, warned others and the tip metastasized, forcing Bloomberg to call a press conference to alert the public to what the authorities already knew.

Soon after, DHS said the evidence of a plot, supposedly by al Qaeda, was not credible, setting off a whole, separate ruckus. - More...
Friday AM - October 21, 2005

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